Have you ever wanted to learn how to do technical mountaineering or rock climbing in a national park? In the past Rocky Mountain National Park has only allowed one company to offer their services to learn how to rock and ice climb, and learn how to survive avalanches. However this will be changing in 2016. Rocky Mountain National Park has just implemented a new strategy as to who provides technical mountaineering within the park to allow for more consumer choice in pricing, styles of learning, as well as program orientation.
The six companies that have been chosen to offer their services in the park are:
- American Alpine Institute from Bellingham, Washington : In RMNP, American Alpine Institute will be running Long's Peak ascents, guided rock climbs and offering mountaineering courses.
- Colorado Mountain School from Estes Park, Colorado : In the winter, Colorado Mountain School offers ice climbing, ski mountaineering, and avalanche training. They also offer rock climbing, mountaineering, and guide training. Click here for more information on their offerings within Rocky Mountain National Park.
- Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides from Boulder, Colorado : Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides will be offering the following in RMNP - Winter activities, Hiking, Backpacking, Photography Tours, Road Bicycling, Fly Fishing, Peak Ascents (including Longs Peak), and Sightseeing.
- Kent Mountain Adventure Center from Estes Park, Colorado : Currently in the winter KMAC offers snowshoeing and skiing tours. They also offer rock climbing, hiking and trek tours, as well as cliff camping experiences. With their new authorization to work in Rocky Mountain National Park, KMAC is expanding their offering in RMNP to include alpine rock and ice climbing, avalanche education, ski mountaineering, and more.
- Jackson Hole Mountain Guides from Jackson, Wyoming : Jackson Hole Mountain Guides offers the following types of classes: Avalanche education, ice climbing, rock climbing, kids and teens classes and camps, and backcountry skiing and mountaineering.
- San Juan Mountain Guides from Ouray, Colorado : San Juan Mountain Guides offers: Ski mountaineering, backcountry skiing, avalanche education, ice climbing, alpine climbing, rock climbing, trekking, expeditions and canyoneering.
If you're looking to head out and enjoy celebrating New Year's Eve in Estes Park, here are several options:
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- New Year's Eve Celebration with Ran Off The Rooster at the Waterfront Grille located at Estes Park Resort. Music and dancing will begin at 8:00 pm and last until 12:00 am. Come hear a wonderful women's string band from the Estes Valley perform! There will be food and drink specials available in addition to the normal menu. FREE Champagne toast at midnight! No cover charge for those who are not dining. Reservations needed for dining at the restaurant.
- New Year's Eve Bluegrass Ball at the Rock Inn Mountain Tavern featuring the popular local band ReIntarnation starting at 9:00 pm and last until 12:00 am. No reservations taken, however you can call ahead when you're on your way. $5 cover charge. There will be some special New Year's Eve dinner items available as well as the regular menu.
- New Year's Eve at Claire's - An Intimate Evening in Italy featuring Estates of the Antinori Family - 635 years & 26 Generations. Reception beginning at 6:00 pm, Dinner at 6:30 pm. $79/person plus tax and gratuity. Reservations required at 970-586-9564.
- New Year's Eve Bash with a Live DJ at Longz - A Mountain Grill located in the Rocky Mountain Park Inn. There will be hors d'oeuvres available, and you can dance the night away!
- New Year's Eve Dinner at the Twin Owl's Steakhouse located at the Black Canyon Inn. There will be live music with James Davis. Dinner from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Reservations are highly recommended at 970-586-9344.
- New Year's Eve Party at the American Legion. Champagne, dinner and music by the Osborne Brothers & The Mountain Town Rockers. Dinner from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm. $12/person for a meal of fried chicken, salad, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn & dessert.
- DJ-Hosted New Year's Eve Bash at Lonigans. 9:00 pm to 1:00 am. Free champagne toast at midnight, dancing and tons of fun!!
- The Stanley Hotel featuring live music by the Jonny Mogambo Band from 9:00 pm to 1:00 am in the MacGregor Ballroom. Ticket reservations required at 970-577-4111. There will be hors d'oeuvres and 2 drink tickets, as well as a midnight toast (souvenir glass included) for $99 per person plus tax. If you want to dine, you should reserve a the Cascades Restaurant where they will be having a special New Year's Eve menu. Reservations required at 970-577-4001 to reserve your meal.